by Mark J. Mitchell

My sleepless neighbor
paces while I count his steps.

Sky is washed by mist.
A siren sets off a dog.

Brakes scream, horns bleat. I am waiting
for damp notes from a foghorn.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I always hesitate to write notes about my poems or my creative process. I think the poems should speak for themselves. I send you this one because I really would like to help Lawrence Ferlinghetti celebrate his birthday. I am a San Francisco poet and I have lived here for 36 years. I am so old that my copy of A Coney Island of the Mind cost me $1.00. I’ve met Lawrence once or twice at poetry festivals, not that he’d remember me, but his work has been a part of my life since I was 13, I visit City Lights once or twice a month. So, I hope this will fit into your tribute, because I am so grateful to Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

IMAGE: “Foghorns” by Arthur Dove (1929).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock, and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last 35 years, as well as the anthologies  Hunger Enough, Retail Woes, Line Drives, and Good Poems, American Places. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. Two full-length collections are in the works: Lent 1999 is coming soon from Leaf Garden Press and This Twilight World will be published by Popcorn Press.. His chapbook Three Visitors was recently published by Negative Capability Press. Artifacts and Relics, another chapbook, is forthcoming from Folded Word and his novel, Knight Prisoner, was recently published by Vagabondage Press, and a another novel, A Book of Lost Songs, is coming soon from Wild Child.